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Noted Irish Waterways Historian Brian J Goggin, RIP

21st October 2020
Late waterways historian Brian J Goggin Late waterways historian Brian J Goggin Photo: Irish Waterways History

Afloat is saddened to learn of the death of Brian J Goggin, noted inland waterways historian and a former contributor to this publication.

A longtime member of the Irish Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI), who served as editor of its quarterly Inland Waterways News in the early 2000s, Brian was also proprietor of the Irish Waterways History website.

The site — which Brian maintained until just weeks before his passing — is an invaluable repository of his dedicated research and opinion on Ireland’s inland waterways and their past uses.

The stories he collected of the Royal Canal in particular took on printed form with the 2014 publication of The Royal Under the Railway: Ireland’s Royal Canal 1830–1899.

Between 2011 and 2013, Brian wrote his Inland Blog for covering a variety of issues and topics pertaining to the waterways’ past, present and future.

On the Irish Waterways History site today, Wednesday 21 October, his family has left a touching tribute to “a much loved husband, father and grandfather”.

They write: “He was an entertaining speaker and loved to share his knowledge with those who he hoped would share his passion for the history of the waterways.

“Some of you may have met us as a family while we were on the River Shannon on our barge, Knocknagow. Brian loved to chat to everyone he met, particularly if they had stories about canals, boats, and related history.”

With the current coronavirus restrictions limiting funerals, there will be no open service but the family requests the sharing of memories or appreciations as comments on the website, or by email to [email protected]

Alternatively, one may “find a stretch of waterway (he particularly loved the Shannon), or industrial heritage on the waterways, and spend some time in quiet reflection there, thinking of any memories you have of him”.

In addition, this time next year the family is planning the publication of the first of two books Brian worked on before his death — with the book launch intended “to celebrate his work, and to celebrate the legacy of our wonderful man”.

Published in Inland Waterways Team

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